As we wrap up our study of First Peter we will now dissect the firth chapter which features exhortations to both elder and young believers as well as a closing salutation to the beloved Christians of Asian Minor.
First addressing the elders among the church, Peter exhorts those spiritually mature identifying himself as a one of them. A partaker in the glory of God, Peter writes about sharing God’s kingdom in the return of Jesus Christ.
In the first few verses of this chapter the apostle also writes about the willingness associated with spiritual leadership, willingness to lead by example as well as willingness to serve both God and His flock entrusted to shepherds by the almighty.
“1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Peter reiterates the divine promise made to those who serve both God and flock faithfully, that of crowns of glory awarded to those who fulfill their purpose driven mission according to God’s perfect plan.
Among other things elders within Christ’s church are not to allow greed, selfishness or lust to become of them, instead they are to rely on the Holy Spirit that dwells within them to be examples of faith to believers and non-believers alike.
Peter then addresses spiritual babies calling on them to obey God’s commands through submission to church elders and by way of humility.
“5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5–7)
Inviting new believers to rely on God, Peter reminds his audience of the power of divine love. Peter also warns the spiritually young of the grave dangers associated with pride.
Reminding us to hold steadfast Peter then commands caution and vigilance among all believers as we find ourselves under attack by evil. Then and now, Christians are to ready themselves for a fight against the angel of darkness that surrounds us each minute of every day.
“8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
For Christians suffering is not optional, it is factual. Christianity should come as a price, not a reward. Salvation is a gift and eternal life is a promise kept by God as a result of repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ. Therefore just as Peter’s audience we must prepare ourselves for suffering, for persecution and for painful, willing compromises made in the name of Jesus Christ.
“10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11)
Note Peter uses “after you have suffered a little while” rather than “if you suffer” which is a clear indication believers will in deed endure suffering on their walk down the narrow path that leads to eternal life.
Anyone not ready to suffer, not ready for compromises in the name of Jesus Christ need examine their faith and ask themselves if it is better to suffer a little in Christ, or for all eternity in Satan because it cannot be both. We are either for Christ or against Him.
“12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” (1 Peter 5:12-13)
In his salutation to the church of Asian Minor Peter mentions Silas, an Aramaic name for Silvanus, a faithful helper of both apostles Peter and Paul. The church in Babylon, from a feminine Greek term referred to as “she” was comprised of chosen members of the Christian faith, just as the audience addressed by Peter.
In this epistle Peter wrote about the essence of Christianity; Faith, love, suffering for Christ and salvation. He also mentioned submission, respect, compassion and humility. More than words on a page, these traits are to define the character we are to be known for as we walk in Jesus’ footsteps. First Peter is true today just as it was nearly two millenniums ago. Use this letter as a guide book and abide by it so to serve the Lord your God allowing Him to bless you with countless rewards on earth and in heaven. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Peter,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through trials,
Through persecution and suffering as we live in You,
Fill our hearts Lord with your love, your power, with your wisdom,
Guide us to abide by your word as we endure through battles against evil
Becoming examples of faith through humble obedience.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre